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Monday, February 18, 2008

Oly Inaction: Environmental Bill Stalled in the House

posted by on February 18 at 14:42 PM

Again, hip hip hooray for the state Senate, where Sen. Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-3, Spokane) resurrected a bill to thwart strip mining on Maury Island and then passed it today (as the deadline for passing bills out of one chamber to the other—end of business tomorrow— winds down.)

However, boo hiss to the House. A smart environmental bill sponsored by liberal House Rep. Geoff Simpson (D-47) that would add consideration of a development’s carbon footprint to the list of prerequisites it must meet when trying to pass muster with the Growth Management Act (GMA) is bogging down.

While the bill met last week’s deadline to get out of committee and make it to the final stop before a floor vote, the Rules Committee, environmental advocates are now worried that House leadership is going to let it die there.

The powerful BIAW (Building Industry Association of Washington) is reportedly putting pressure on House members in swing districts to put the kibosh on the bill or water it down so that local GMA counsels don’t have the actual authority to make global warming an issue.

There’s a duplicate bill in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Chris Marr that has strong support, including the backing of Senate leadership. However, the fact that the House version is in trouble doesn’t bode well for the Senate version when it makes its way over to the land of Chopp.

p.s. Again, sorry for the lack of links, but wifi is spotty in Olympia today, and I don’t have the patience or time to sit through the spinning beach ball of hell.

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